Thursday, July 14, 2011

Little things make me happy

Not sure why, but in these last few years I’m really cognizant of little things that make me happy. Not that I wasn’t happy before, but I’ve just realized that some of the things I think about now strike me as random or nothing that anyone would write home about. But maybe that’s why they’re the little things! I’m not embarrassed to share them with you because I have a good idea you also have these weird little things that make you shine if you take the time to think about it.

Chuang Tzu, an influential Chinese philosopher from the 4th century, said “Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.” I’m convinced this Taoist thinker was onto something special. It seems that if we can achieve harmony with our universe, we become so much more open to peaceful states of happiness. Those who relentlessly seek the magical elixir to cure their unhappiness don’t recognize yet that if they just stay still and stop searching, little pockets of happiness may just find them. Wouldn’t it be worth it to take a chance to fill the void with those little unexpected bouts of joy? The reward could be a richer, fuller life.

Here’s a short list of some of the little things that make me happy.

When something unexpected makes me smile or laugh. Laughing is always fun. It’s even better when you’re not supposed to and you can’t stop! Think grade school with the evil eye of the nun warning you to knock it off. Makes it even more delicious! Everyone loves when it happens sporadically at work, too, so it’s not just a thing of childhood. To this day, there are things that can make me laugh hysterically just at the thought, e.g., when I was a child in Philadelphia, the lady at the bus stop whose underpants gave in to stretched-out elastic and fell down at her feet. She calmly stepped out of the said underwear and put them in her purse! She didn’t crack a smile or seem embarrassed! Haha! I can hear you laughing!

Hearing the purr/growl of my six-pound long-haired Chihuahua, Bella, when she greets me each night. You just know it means “Hello! Pay attention to me. I’ve missed you very much!”

Watching my eight-pound long-haired Chihuahua, Baci, dance to greet us anytime we come home or even walk into a room. His father’s name wasn’t Cujo Dancer for nothing. Of course, he needs to pick up a Nylabone as an accessory to his dance to satisfy his oral fixation.

Taking pictures of clouds, trees, landscapes, buildings, bridges, people….well, taking pictures. Thanks to digital cameras we can look at the photos immediately and retake until we get the shot we want. Amazing results and so much fun!

Looking back at the pics I’ve taken. Always great memories that make me smile.

Looking at my friends’ pics on Facebook. You know how everyone always says you have to show me your vacation photos? Well, we never do. But FB makes it easier for each of us to look when we feel like it and now there’s so much more photo-sharing than there was in the “prints in an album” time. Just love seeing all the places friends are visiting, the flowers in their garden, and the nice memories they’re creating with their beautiful families.

The tile plaque on my desk that says:

The Real To-Do List
• Sing.
• Smile at strangers.
• Keep learning.
• Notice kindness.
• Eat ice cream.
• Hope.
• Count your blessings.
• Laugh.
• Love.
• Love some more.

How I want to live my life. Need I say more?

Driving through Valley Forge Mountain each morning. Every season is just gorgeous. My car leads me through the blossoms and new growth of spring and the thick, green of the trees in summer. In fall, the colors are amazing. In winter, the hanging ice and snow is breathtaking. It’s only a few minutes of my commute each morning, but driving through that wonderland is a great way to start my work day.

Feeling a quick blast of weather and changing seasons. Leaving the cold office building and the heat of the warm sun thickly envelops me. Ahh! Conversely, leaving the warm office building and the crisp, chilly air hits me in the face. This beautiful earth rocks!

Feeling a quick wave of fortune after shopping at Trader Joe’s (see my earlier post). Or when I’m driving on my long commute and something along the way hits me as beautiful. Or I think of someone fondly. Or I remember a nice time. It’s a most amazing feeling that life is good and everything will be okay no matter what. I can’t make it happen at will, but that’s what’s more special about it. When it does happen, it’s such a pleasant surprise that makes me feel so lucky that I literally choke up for a quick euphoric second. If this feeling could be bottled and sold, someone would make a lot of money. Or give it away for free knowing that enough payment would be good karma.

Now I gave you a peek into a window of myself. Just goes to show you that a lot of little things can add up to something big. A big feeling of happiness!

So I’m sure your list would be unique to you. What are some little things that make you happy? Would love to hear from you…if blogspot lets you comment! Haha!

Until next time, yours in fun and happiness…Therese

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